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Should Christians be politicians, is it godly to be in politics?

26 Dec 2020 at 08:49hrs | Views
I received a message on my LinkedIn page which made me get thinking. The message was from  a long forgotten church mate who was actually one of my pathfinders or a junior youth I used to teach christian values over twenty years ago. The young man answers to the name Tendai Mandaza. He is now a deputy headmaster in one of the Adventist schools. Seventh Day Adventists are a Christian outfit who pride themselves in bible truth. They believe that they are the remnant and Mandaza is one of the Adventists who believe that they are the only right truth bearers and everybody is wrong. This self righteousness and arrogance is manifestly present in most Adventists. The only thing which makes them arrogant is their genuine belief in ignorance. Adventists hold a General Conference every five years to review their beliefs and change their leadership. The Seventh Day Adventists operates a democracy of governance where no one owns the church but God himself and people are elected to office which they will hold for five years. During this session as it is known the church fundamental beliefs are reviewed. The church started with fifteen fundamental beliefs now they are twenty nine. The changes shows that Adventism is not static but it is dynamic.

In his below the belt reunion note  to me, Tendai Mandaza lamented my political involvement. He called me "lost". He appointed himself the judge and labelled the christians in politics as lost and beyond redemption. He was so adamant stubborn and aggressively headstrong in his belief that politics takes christians to hell. He was so brutal and unChristian in his Christian belief.

Politics is often seen as a dirty business. In recent times there have been many scandals that have made the general public apathetic towards the political system. 
It's an interesting and important topic, as politics is a subject that affects all believers, but not one that all believers feel they should be involved in.

In the past the Church and the state had been very much linked, with the Church in charge of issues such as education and healthcare. In the current day this is no longer the case. The rise of the welfare state in the last few centuries has meant that state's influence has grown and the Church's impact on these issues has deteriorated. Many secularists would argue that this is the way it should be and that the Church has no place in policy, but is this really the case?

Many secularists would argue that the Church has no place in policy.
Are Christian values a form of congenial public discourse and avoid decorating our politics with congenial Bible verses.
The Bible is itself a potential weapon of mass destruction, prone to use, abuse, and misuse. The idolatrous and blasphemous use of the Bible in contemporary politics is immensely destructive to Christianity. Hiding behind "the Bible says it:' those who employ simplistic citations from the Bible in public discourse are often wrong and disingenuous. The notion of Christian values often works in a sinilar fashion: a loss of the overarching Christian narrative leads to a corruption of Christian witness.

But does all this exclude Christians from politics?  
Andy Flannagan, a director at Christians in Politics, stated that if "we look at the Bible we see that God has liked to have an input in the governance of a nation. "The books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus are dedicated to a plethora of laws that God passed onto Moses for the people of Israel to abide by. Going back further, in Genesis we are given the example of Joseph, who through his gifts became, in effect, the Prime Minister of Egypt. This is a good example for us, as Egypt was clearly not a nation that revered God, but God allowed Joseph to rise in prominence which made Pharaoh acknowledge ‘the spirit of God'. The same can be applied to today. Whilst we may not be living in a ‘Christian nation', Christians being involved in politics can still be used to bring godly influence.

Believer's should join politics so that they may bring Righteous public service governance because righteousness exalt a Nation Sin is a reproach for to all people and territory.

Christians must be in politics to correct some wicked evil errors that politics is a dirty game.
Politics is governance that every believer should involve him or her self to inspire and encourage other Christians to get involved in politics and public life.

Tendai Mandaza and many of his mind must realise that decisions are made by those who show up.

The relationship between Christianity and politics is a historically complex subject and a frequent source of disagreement throughout the history of Christianity, as well as in modern politics between the Christian right and Christian left. There have been a wide variety of ways in which thinkers have conceived of the relationship between Christianity and politics, with many arguing that Christianity directly supports a particular political ideology or philosophy. Along these lines, various thinkers have argued for Christian communism, Christian socialism, Christian anarchism, Christian libertarianism, or Christian democracy.

A more extreme view would even be that no good can come from politics, and it is best to avoid it altogether. It turns out that this view is not at all consistent with what the Bible has to teach about politics and governance. Far from urging us to flee from this arena, Scripture shows us that governance can be a force for good, and that it is important for Christians to make their voice heard and counted in the public square.

Right at the very start of the Bible, God gives the creation mandate to Adam and Eve: to go forth into the world, to be fruitful and increase in number, and to have dominion over creation.In God's good creation it was intended that mankind, created in the image of God, should be the stewards of this creation and give glory to God through increasing the fruitfulness of the planet. To put it another way, good governance was always intended to be a part of creation, whereby the will of mankind and the will of God would not be in opposition to each other, but rather mankind's will and efforts would reflect God's own will for the earth to be fruitful. Tragically, it is not very long before this perfect model falls.

Maybe to put Mandaza's mind to rest I am not saying that all Christians need to run to be local councillors or MPs. There are some who are called to do this, but others who are called to other activities that you may not even regard as political.

If Tendai Mandaza is to give to or help his local foodbank in any way, one can argue that he is politically active. Foodbanks are a massive issue for the government at the moment, and by aiding one, you are showing the government that there is a need to help some members of the public further. This form of social activism is very much deep-rooted within politics, and requires Christians to be active to bring about change.

If there is a lot of crime in your area, you shouldn't be afraid to speak up and ask your local MP what can be done about it. Some may quote the passage - ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord"' (Romans 12:19). But there is very much a difference between vengeance and justice, and God is very much concerned with the latter. ‘God tells us we should be concerned with justice remember the apostle Paul pleading his case all the way up to Caesar'. This suggests that being politically active to achieve justice is not wrong, and is not something we should be afraid to do. Mandaza and all those like him must know that praying for those in governance is a form of political activity. Paul urges that – ‘supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.' (1 Timothy 2:1-2). I would say that this is the absolute minimum. If any form of other political activity is not possible, praying that political leaders would make correct decisions is the one thing that we all have the obligation to do.

Whilst the government may not always do what we believe is best, they have been put in place by God for his purposes. Paul affirms this stating - ‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.' If that is the case, it will be our prayers and involvement in politics that will influence the people that God has put in place, so it is important that we as Christians are active in politics in some form or another.

 The key point is to realise that we are involved in politics anyway; we have no choice about being political because if we choose not to engage then it is a vote for the status quo – the way things are.  We must remember that all Christians are politically active whether they realise it or not. But especially when they don't realise it.
Christians need to be involved because we believe in a God who cares passionately about his world and his creation, and consequently how it is run.  The Bible is hugely political – in that it is about how God wants people to behave and act towards him, and towards each other.  This involves economics and law because these are tools that need to be used to build justice.  So often it is injustice which dominates God's world and this grieves him.

As believers in God we have much to bring to politics – a deeper commitment to justice and compassion which throughout history has made a difference in the political sphere.
Christians are urged to be involved in their local community –

We must know that our faith is political to the core.
We will no longer say "Christianity is not political." When we say "Christianity is not political" we are only demonstrating that we are disciples of modern liberalism instead of disciples of Jesus. The primary task of the Christian community is not to be a so-called religious gathering concerned with souls floating off into the afterlife, nor is it to be a sort of spiritualized yoga class helping individuals find existential peace with themselves. The primary task of the church is to embody and bear witness to the end of history, an all-compassing reality that has already broken into the world. The primary task of the church is to be an alternative politic. Jesus was clearly a political figure, calling his followers to a particular politic. His politic was a public claim and a public matter.

We must all know that politics is not evil and Christians in politics must be encouraged. God is the omnipresent and as much as people try to kick him out of politics they fail. God is God and his way of being God is politics.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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